In March 2018 I made my first trip to Australia to visit Sydney and Melbourne. It was a beautiful country and I really enjoyed my visit. The only downside was the 14 hour flight to get there from San Francisco. Scroll below to see some of the highlights from the trip as well as links to my photo albums.
Sydney is located on the eastern coast of Australia and is the largest city in the country. It is perhaps most famous for landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The city had a West Coast (of North America) feel with its location on the water reminding me of the Pacific Northwest and its beach front neighborhoods reminding me of California.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Completed in 1932 the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the largest and most well known Through Arch Bridges. Guided walks along the arch of the bridge, secured by a wire lifeline, are offered by BridgeClimb. Although costly this was one of the highlights of my trip. There is also a pedestrian walkway over the bridge which offers free views of the Harbour, Opera House, and the City Centre.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House, with its distinct roof ,is among the most famous buildings in the world. It is located in a majestic setting on Bennelong Point, which extends into Sydney Harbour. Tours are available of the inside but you can walk around the perimeter of the building for free. The best views of the Opera House are from nearby Mrs Macquarie's Chair or from ferries departing from Circular Quay.
Hyde Park is the oldest park in Australia and is named for Hyde Park in London. It offers 40 acres of green space in the otherwise urban Central Sydney. There are a number of monuments in the park including the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) War Memorial and the Archibald Fountain.
Bondi Beach, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs,is among the list of Australia's must see beaches. While there are a number of things to do my favorite was swimming at the neighboring Bondi Icebergs Club. The club includes an Olympic length saltwater pool built into the cliffs south of the beach. Visitors are welcome for a small fee ($7 AUD as of March 2018). Another highlight was the Coastal Walk which is a pathway along the rocky shoreline that leads to neighboring beaches.
Manly beach is another well known beach that is in the Northern Coastal Suburbs. There is a direct 30 minute ferry from the City Centre making it easy to get to. The ferry terminal and the beach are connected by The Corso, a strip lined with shops and restaurants.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Wild Life Sydney Zoo is a small zoo located in Darling Harbour. They specialize in animals native to Australia such as Kangaroos, Koalas, and wallabies.
Melbourne is the capital and largest city in the state of victoria and second largest city in Australia. It is a cultural hub and is frequently rated among the world's most livable cities.
Located on the north bank of the Yarra River, the City Centre of Melbourne is home to some of the cities biggest attractions and a trendy restaurant scene. One of my favorite things to see were the various murals that have been painted along the neighborhood's alleyways. The free City Circle Tram makes it easy to explore the area.
Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is a memorial built in the classical stye that honors all Australians who have served in war. It is located in the Kings Domain area of Melbourne.
The Parliament House is the seat of the state government of Victoria. Open houses are offered on days the Parliament is not sitting and provide an opportunity to explore the impressive architecture of the interior. The Queen's Hall, Legislative Halls, and Library are among the must see rooms in the building.
State Library of Victoria
The State of Victoria's Central Library features a large collection of over 2 million books. The library is worth a visit if for no other reason than to see the spectacular Dome Room.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a stretch of highway along the southwest coast of Victoria. The road was built by soldiers returning from World War I to provide access to previously isolated communities. The 151 mile drive features beach towns, rain-forests, and the dramatic coastline of Port Campbell National Park. The start of the road is within a couple hours of Melbourne and can be seen as a long day trip.
The Twelve Apostles are a series of limestone stack formations. They are one of the main attractions at Port Campbell National Park.
Loch Arch Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge is a narrow waterway surrounded by steep cliffs inside Port Campbell National Park. The gorge features a beach, which is accessible via stairs.